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Operations at key Shanghai port back to pre-COVID-19 levels

Throughput at Shanghai’s Yangshan Deepwater Port, China’s single largest container processing facility, is nearing pre-COVID-19 levels.

Yangshan Port said that in the last week, it cleared 52,000TEU a day on average, nearly 95% of levels in pre-COVID-19 days.

In addition, on 4 March 2020, 19 ships run by mainline operators berthed at its premises for loading and unloading. The vessels included six ultra-large container ships that can each carry at least 18,000TEU. The ships will then sail on to Europe, North America and the Mediterranean.

Yangshan Port estimates that in the past week, there were at least 22 daily arrivals and departures of ships on long-haul routes. an increase of 36.5% a fortnight ago.

Furthermore, there were around 32 daily arrivals and departures of feeder vessels, up 20% from a fortnight ago. The feeder vessels transport containers between Yangshan and ports along Yangtze River.

Chinese ports have begun clearing their cargo backlog on their docks as workers resume work, following the prolonged Lunar New Year holidays that were implemented in a bid to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

Although the holidays have ended, businesses remain cautious and have asked employees to resume work in batches. This also caused a shortage of truck drivers to ferry containers to and from the ports, exacerbating the supply chain bottleneck.

Shanghai is the world’s busiest container port and Yangshan contributes 40% to its throughput.

Caused by a novel coronavirus, COVID-19 surfaced in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, but has since spread around the world, resulting in nearly 100,000 infections and more than 3,000 deaths.

Shanghai port, like many Chinese ports, are minimising the risks of infections by reducing face-to-face meetings and physical contact, with operations carried out remotely where possible.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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